Home » News » Vauxhall » Vauxhall out of British Touring Car Championship

GM announced that Vauxhall will no longer compete in the British Touring Car Championship. After racing in the British motorsport for over 20 year Vauxhall decided to step out and contest the last 3 races of the current season at Brands Hatch circuit.

For the final round in the BTCC, Vauxhall will bring together stars like the Jeff Allam, Phil Bennett, Derek Warwick, John Cleland and Yvan Muller. As far as the cars that will be involved, the event will include the Vauxhall Astra B GTE, Cavalier, Astra Coupe, Astra Sport Hatch, Vectra and the Firenza a.k.a. the "Old Nail". Vauxhall says the Firenza is their most successful super saloon with 63 victorious races.

Vauxhall press release :

1 October 2009.../An era of British motorsport which dates back over 20 years will be brought to an end this weekend when Vauxhall bids farewell to the British Touring Car Championship. After two decades of competition in this premier British racing series the multi-champion manufacturer will contest the final three races of this season at Brands Hatch circuit. VX Racing, the manufacturer team run by Triple Eight Engineering, with drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi, Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan, will make their final appearance at the Kent track. Giovanardi remains in contention for his third, back-to-back, Drivers’ Championship title, VX Racing is still battling for the Teams’ title, while Vauxhall has already provisionally secured the Manufacturers’/Constructors’ Championship.

Vauxhall will be bringing together the stars and cars of its BTCC campaigns for the final round of this season. The Brands Hatch round will bring together some of Vauxhall’s most successful, former BTCC drivers including Jeff Allam, Phil Bennett, Derek Warwick, John Cleland and Yvan Muller.

The venue will also be the backdrop for a display which includes the Astra B GTE, Cavalier, Astra Coupe, Astra Sport Hatch, Vectra, and one of Vauxhall’s most significant race cars, ‘Old Nail’. Old Nail is the most successful saloon race car of all time being the first ever production and race Firenza. It started life as a Firenza, driven by Gerry Marshall and went through a series of modifications, from special saloon to super saloon and others, winning 63 races and many championships.

Vauxhall’s motorsport history is rich and varied, stretching from rallying and saloon car series to junior single seater championships, although it is the British Touring Car Championship which has been the mainstay of the marque’s motor racing heritage. The British car manufacturer first entered BTCC in 1976 with the Vauxhall Magnum Coupe. Gerry Marshall won his class and third overall in that year and Jeff Allam finished fourth overall a year later. It was 12 years later when Vauxhall returned to the Championship and started their long tenure with the series, with the company focusing on the saloon car championships in the intervening years.

John Cleland drove an Astra B GTE model for the marque’s return in 1989, winning the series overall, having amassed the largest points haul in his class. Once into the ‘Super Touring’ era, with a single class touring formula and 2-litre engines, Vauxhall has competed in every season, firstly with the Cavalier II, then the Vectra B, followed by the Astra G Coupe, Astra H Sports Hatch and latterly, the Vectra C.

The Astra Coupe proved to be one of the outstanding models in BTCC history. Vauxhall was the dominant force in 2001 with its new model. The Triple Eight-engineered car won 25 of the 26 rounds and in a dramatic final round at Brands Hatch, and after a season of bitter rivalry, Jason Plato beat team-mate Yvan Muller to achieve his first title. In 2002, the Astra was again untouchable, although manufacturer entries from Honda and MG kept it on its toes. James Thompson this time beat Muller to the crown. Vauxhall would win the next two titles with Muller and, again, Thompson, the latter’s second crown in 2004 being achieved by a margin of just one point from his French team-mate (thanks to setting the fastest race lap in the season’s very last race). The Astra Coupe remains one of the most successful in BTCC history with an incredible 62 wins from 96 starts in the manufacturer’s hands.

In 2006 seven times (and three-times European) touring car champion Fabrizio Giovanardi joined VX Racing.  After a year without a victory campaigning the Astra Sport Hatch, the Italian driver notched up Vauxhall’s 100th BTCC win. For 2007 Vauxhall switched to the Vauxhall Vectra and this, once again, dominated the championship. In its first season Giovanardi took it to his first BTCC title, including a dramatic final round showdown against Plato. The Italian Touring Car master followed this up with another title in 2008 and is now in the thick of the fight for his third straight title.

Vauxhall BTCC drivers: 1989 - 2009

1989            John Cleland, Louise Aitken Walker, Jeremy Rossiter
1991            John Cleland, Jeff Allam, Bob Berridge, David Coulthard
1992            James Thompson, John Cleland, Jeff Allam, Bob Berridge, David Coulthard
1993            John Cleland, Jeff Allam
1994            John Cleland, Jeff Allam
1995            John Cleland, James Thompson, Jeff Allam* , Mike Briggs*
1996            John Cleland, James Thompson
1997            John Cleland, Derek Warwick
1998            John Cleland, Derek Warwick
1999            John Cleland, Yvan Muller
2000            Yvan Muller, Jason Plato, Vincent Radermecker
2001(i)         Yvan Muller, Jason Plato
2002 (ii)       Yvan Muller, James Thompson
2003            Yvan Muller, James Thompson, Paul O'Neill
2004            Yvan Muller, James Thompson, Luke Hines
2005            Yvan Muller, Colin Turkington, Gavin Smith
2006            Fabrizio Giovanardi, Tom Chilton, Gavin Smith
2007            Fabrizio Giovanardi, Tom Chilton, Alain Menu
2008            Fabrizio Giovanardi, Matt Neal, Tom Onslow-Cole
2009            Fabrizio Giovanardi, Matt Neal, Andrew Jordan

This list only considers 'works' drivers
*Stand-ins for James Thompson after Knockhill accident
(i) Team Egg Sport drivers: James Thompson, Phil Bennett & Andy Priaulx
(ii) Team Egg Sport drivers: Matt Neal & Paul O Neill

British Touring Car Championship success

1989            John Cleland                        Astra GTE           Class & O/all winner
1991            John Cleland                        Cavalier Gsi         Runner-up
1992            J Cleland/J Allam/D Leslie    Cavalier Gsi        
1995            J Cleland                              Cavalier GSi        Drivers’ Championship winner
2001            Jason Plato                           Astra Coupe        Drivers’ Championship winner
2002            James Thompson                 Astra Coupe         Drivers’ Championship winner
2003            Yvan Muller                        Astra Coupe          Drivers’ Championship winner
2004            James Thompson                 Astra Coupe          Drivers’ Championship winner
2007            Fabrizio Giovanardi             Vectra                    Drivers’ Championship winner
2008            Fabrizio Giovanardi             Vectra                    Drivers’ Championship winner

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Fields marked with * are required
Name *:
Email *:
Comment *:
Code *:
  • Email
  • YouTube
  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • facebook
  • feedburner

Related Specs

  1. 2000 Vauxhall VX220

    Engine: Inline-4, Power: 108.1 kw / 145.0 bhp @ 5800 rpm, Torque: 203.4 nm / 150.0 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm
  2. 2003 Vauxhall VX220 Turbo

    Engine: Water Cooled, Cast Iron, Inline-4, Power: 149.1 kw / 200 bhp @ 5500 rpm, Torque: 250 nm / 1950-5500 rpm ft lbs
  3. 2003 Vauxhall VX Lightning Concept

    Engine: Modified, Supercharged ECOTEC L850 Inline-4, Power: 179.0 kw / 240 bhp, Torque: 305.06 nm / 225 ft lbs
  4. 2008 Vauxhall VXR8

    Engine: v8N/AN/A
  5. 2010 Ford Mustang

    Engine: V8, Power: 315 hp @ 6000 rpm, Torque: 325 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm

New Vehicles

Renault Kadjar Dynamique SE Nav introduced in UKRenault Kadjar Dynamique SE Nav introduced in UK
Renault is trying to increase the appeal of the current Kadjar with a special edition, available only on the UK market. The compact crossover is now available ...

Concept Cars

Polestar 1 makes European debut in GenevaPolestar 1 makes European debut in Geneva
It was first unveiled in Asia, Volvo's biggest market and now makes it European premiere during Geneva Motor Show. The Polestar 1 landed on the Old Continent. ...

Custom Cars

Rolls Royce Wraith Luminary Collection announcedRolls Royce Wraith Luminary Collection announced
Rolls Royce is continuously improving its client experience with special editions for the current range of cars. Same happened with the current Wraith ...

Future Cars

Skoda Fabia update scheduled for Geneva debutSkoda Fabia update scheduled for Geneva debut
For the last three years was one of the best sold cars in Skoda range. Fabia is also responsible for current Skoda success and sales record. To keep up ...

Market News

McLaren celebrates 15.000 units producedMcLaren celebrates 15.000 units produced
The dream of building a really fast car started with the McLaren F1, but then it faded away. Seven years ago, the light was on and McLaren was decided ...


Audi E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo - first teaser pictureAudi E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo - first teaser picture
Audi has published a first teaser picture with the upcoming Audi E-Tron Vision Gran Turismo. The virtual car will be showcased on April 9th and it will ...

Various News

Ford Mustang is world's best selling sports car in 2017Ford Mustang is world's best selling sports car in 2017
This is for the third time in a row when Ford Mustang was named world's best selling sports car. Global Ford Mustang registrations in 2017 totalled 125,809 ...


Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak - officially unveiledVolkswagen ID R Pikes Peak - officially unveiled
Volkswagen has officially unveiled the new Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak Concept. The car is set to compete in the famous Pikes Peak Hill Climb event which ...


Video: Jaguar I-Pace is doing a night lap of Monaco circuitVideo: Jaguar I-Pace is doing a night lap of Monaco circuit
Jaguar I-Pace has tackled the famous Monaco street-circuit to prove its performance credentials. The British car manufacturer is the first premium car ...